Speak up on silo future

Land Column by Daniel Cooper, Grains Committee Chair
After speculation about the commercial viability of almost a third of its upcountry receival network, GrainCorp confirmed 100 of its receival sites would be permanently closed.

GrainCorp has indicated the move was based on reducing operating and repair costs, with more than 90 per cent of grain delivered into its top 180 sites, with the remaining 100 sites receiving just 10pc of deliveries made into its network.

From the discussions NSW Farmers had with Archer Daniels Midlands during its proposed takeover bid of GrainCorp its future plans for the network were similar.

NSW Farmers Grains Committee is concerned about the impacts of the rationalisation on farmers who have traditionally delivered grain into the sites GrainCorp plans to close, particularly those who will have to pay
more to send grain further to deliver into the bulk handling network.

The committee has also asked GrainCorp to give assurances as to the adequacy of the remaining sites to handle the additional inflow of grain.

Accompanying the change was an announcement to spend $200 million across the network with the aim of better utilising rail to move grain to export destinations. If matched by a $50 million government spend on rail sidings to enable the loading of longer trains, GrainCorp hopes to return 1 million tonnes per annum of grain trucked directly to port back onto rail.

It proposes this would shore up branch lines and potentially reducing fobbing costs deducted from port price by $5 a tonne.

GrainCorp’s rationalisation also turns the spotlight onto ensuring better efficiencies in delivering grain by road to receival sites. The Grain Harvest Management Scheme, where it has been adopted by local government, has been a start for this.

NSW Farmers has put the argument to government for the continuation of the scheme and its extension to all grain harvest trucks across the State.

We will continue to seek specific funding to enhance priority roads into receival sites and work with GrainCorp to seek the government contribution to below rail works to deliver maximum efficiencies.

GrainCorp has arranged a series of silo meetings to brief local growers on its plans. We encourage every impacted member to go to one of these meetings and make your concerns known.

For more information visit www.nswfarmers.org.au/graincorp_restructure

Contact: Justin Crosby

Phone: 1300 794 000

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